Here's what happened last night:
Evansville 76, Drake 65:
Well, we now know that Evansville *should* challenge for the MVC crown. I know, I know yada yada they can't keep it up for the whole year. But thats what they said about Drake LAST year. However, the games at SIU and Drake could be interesting.
Florida St. 82, Western Kentucky 69:
Florida St. keeps their hopes alive. In fact, at this point, the Noles have a pretty good resume. But, as a wise blogger said last year, someone has to win the games, and someone has to lose the games, and the rest of the season looks not at all promising for Florida St . Meanwhile, Western Kentucky's slim at-large hopes have faded.
Stanford 111, Texas Tech 66: What a blow-out! Stanford is now 9-0! With... 0 good wins. Sheesh. Schedule some better OOC teams, especially when your conference has two teams that are going to drag you down.
Iowa St. 71, Houston 67: A second bad loss for Houston probably puts them out of reach of the tournament. Also, how much do the Cyclones wish they had that Hawaii win now? 9-3 and only one bad loss would have been manageable entering the conference schedule.
Lipscomb 74, Indiana 69: Indiana is bad. This is a very disappointing loss.
Finally! After a long hiatus, we have a day with several great games on tap.
Georgetown @ Connecticut: The game of the night – Georgetown begins a run of three difficult games, which will help determine whether they are deserving of the #1 spot in the Pomeroy Rankings (actually, UNC probably won’t hold that spot for a few more games, simply because they’ve been playing their back-ups so much). I really don’t have anything to say here, other than noting that it should be a great game, and we’ll evaluate these two tomorrow.
Cincinnati @ Memphis: If you just look at the names involved in this game, then you probably won’t think much of this game. But the fact of the matter is that Cincinnati and Memphis are not at all safe. Cincinnati has decent wins over UAB and UNLV, but they are still headed for a pretty bad conference record – besides the free wins over Depaul, Rutgers, and St. John’s, I wouldn’t count on anything. As for Memphis – while they haven’t had any bad losses, they haven’t had any decent wins either.
Temple @ Villanova: This game will determine whether Villanova had a good non-conference season or a bad one. With a win, they can be perceived as a team that beat everyone they were supposed to, and lost to the only elite team they played. With a loss, then Nova will be seen as underachievers. Temple would like this game very much. Two straight losses have made the Tennessee win a distant memory, and a 3-3 road mark isn’t going to wow anyone. A win over Villanova would right their ship, and put them in position to snag a tournament bid with a decent, upset-less conference run.
Davidson @ College of Charleston: Davidson has 9 days to sit and think about their blowout loss against Purdue. This isn’t a bad team, and they’ve got the win over West Virginia to prove it. However, this College of Charleston team is going to be the best chance of losing in-conference this year. Only one other SoCon team besides these two is in the top 200 – Western Carolina, who Davidson gets at home.
Portland St. @ Baylor: Portland St. might have a viable shot at a 12 seed if they can get a win here.
Boston @ Cornell: This game will probably help decide whether America East or Cornell is placed on the 16 seed line. That’s about the extent of why this game is important
Hopefully I'm run through all of the conferences over the next few days, but don't count on it. I'll be travelling the next few days, so I don't know what will happen. Hopefully I'll be able to make a post about the nine games I've identified as important during the time that I am away.